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The Waynesburg University Center for Service Leadership will host a service event to celebrate “Make a Difference Day,” Saturday, Oct. 24.

“Make A Difference Day” is a USA TODAY initiative, backed by the Gannett Company and TEGNA Inc., in collaboration with Points of Light. With millions of volunteers from across the nation uniting in a common mission to improve the lives of others, it is one of the largest national days of community service.

For more than two decades, “Make A Difference Day” has been celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday in October and connects people with opportunities to serve, increases the strength of communities and promotes civic engagement.

The University’s event, “WU Make a Difference Day,” is sponsored by USA Today and is focused on serving the local community. The project will benefit Greene County residents through several service opportunities including academic tutoring, animal safety, educational awareness programs, environmental stewardship and youth programs.

“A day of service provides the Waynesburg University community the opportunity to utilize their talents, skills and passions to address the needs within Greene County and make a difference,” said Kelley Hardie, assistant dean of student services.

Waynesburg University students, faculty, staff and alumni can choose from 11 local service sites in which to participate, such as Crisis Pregnancy Center, Humane Society of Greene County, Lion’s Club Park and World Vision.

The University’s football team is also sponsoring a fundraising event in conjunction with “WU Make a Difference Day” that will benefit Kurt Detwiler, a former football player who was injured in a car accident. Service participants will assist in hosting a spaghetti dinner at First Baptist Church. 

For more information, contact Kelley Hardie at 724-852-3461.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or

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Waynesburg University’s Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science and Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences are teaming up for a community outreach event at Jefferson-Morgan Elementary School Thursday, Oct. 22.

All fourth graders at the school will have the opportunity to participate in four workshops covering information about the importance of shoeprints in criminal investigation. A group of University juniors and seniors from the Forensic Science and Criminal Justice clubs will lead each workshop.

The elementary students will rotate through the 15-minute workshops, which are entitled, “Class Characteristics of Footwear,” “Individual Characteristics of Footwear,” “Footwear Recovery and Lifting” and “Analysis of Crime Scene Footwear Impressions.” Under the guise of investigating a case about a lunch thief, participants will learn about why footwear impression evidence is important, how to collect imprints and how to analyze them to identify suspects or culprits.

Faith Musko, instructor of forensic science at the University, emphasizes that if students want to pursue a future in criminal justice, they will be required to master a wide variety of skills.

“To obtain a career in investigation requires an individual to wear many hats which all require an inquisitive nature,” said Musko. “This inquisitive nature involves both analytical and critical thinking skills, which is a necessary part of student development. By giving the students at Jefferson-Morgan a crime scene to solve, we are giving them a fun and thrilling way to enhance these skills.”

For more information, contact Faith Musko at 724-853-7716 or

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or

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Waynesburg University’s Education Department will sponsor a Disabilities Ministries Conference for area churches Saturday, Nov. 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The conference will assist local churches in expanding their outreach to children and families, with emphasis on including children and families with disabilities in ministry efforts. Admission to the conference is free, and refreshments will be offered.

The keynote speaker for the conference is Cal Clark, president of Uniquely the Same, Inc., a nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of life for disabled or economically disadvantaged persons. 

The conference’s four breakout sessions will include “Awareness Activity,” “Top Ten Difficult Truths,” “Autism Defined and Simple Strategies for Success” and “All God’s Children Have a Place in the Choir.”

For more information or to pre-register, contact Dr. Julie Bausman, assistant professor of education at the University, at or 724-852-3259. Pre-registration is also available at

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Waynesburg University will host the second annual John C. Knox Writing Contest Saturday, Nov. 7. It is free and open to high school students in grades 10 through 12 who attend public, private or home schools in 14 different Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia counties. The deadline to register is Friday, Oct. 30.

The event is hosted by the Department of Communication and the Waynesburg University chapter of Society of Professional Journalists and sponsored by the Observer Publishing Company.

The contest will be held in Buhl Humanities Building on the University’s campus, beginning at 9:30 a.m. After a brief welcome, participants will attend a group press conference with Michael Cipoletti, assistant professor at the University. 

Cipoletti is retired from the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Laboratory and directs the Forensic Science Program at the University. He has extensive training and professional experience investigating and processing illicit drug labs, hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction, and he has testified as an expert in forensic science numerous times in the courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and in the Federal Court System.

Following the conference, contest entrants will be given two hours to write a news feature article about Cipoletti and his experiences. They can then enjoy lunch and take a campus tour. 

Articles will be judged by members of the Department of Communication, members of the Society of Professional Journalists and professionals at the Observer-Reporter newspaper. Three finalists will receive prizes of $500, $300 and $200 for first, second and third place, respectively. All participants will receive a t-shirt, and the first place winner will see their article published in the Yellow Jacket student newspaper.

Named for John C. Knox, the first editor of the University’s student newspaper, the contest seeks to congratulate high school students with a particular affinity for newswriting. 

“The contest is designed to recognize students in high school who have a passion for writing and journalism,” said Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication at the University. “Because the Department [of Communication] seeks to encourage and train college communicators, it’s fitting to try to reach further into high school to accomplish the same goal.”

To register, students can visit For more information, contact Brandon Szuminsky at 724-852-3427 or 

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Waynesburg University’s American Chemical Society Student chapter will host its seventh annual Haunted Lab Monday, Oct. 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. on the fifth floor of Stewart Science Hall on Waynesburg University’s campus. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend. Guests should enter the building through the Wayne Street entrance.

Halloween-themed experiment and activity stations will be run by University faculty and students. All ages can benefit from the event, as it is designed to promote science education by showcasing fun and exciting demonstrations.

“The Haunted Lab is a unique event the whole family can enjoy,” said Evonne Bauldauff, assistant professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science. “Kids do not have to have a strong background in science to attend, but they might leave with a desire to pay attention more closely in their classes at school. Through a combination of more than twenty dynamic demonstrations and hands-on activities, we hope to spark their curiosity.”

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or

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